With school summer holidays just over a week away, many families will be enjoying the delights of the UK and having a staycation this year. In Henley we’re very lucky to have the wonderful River Thames and beautiful surrounding countryside plus a Museum which draws on all of this on our doorstep.
Where else can you brave the Wild Wood with Mr Toad and friends, uncover an Iron Age hoard of gold coins, discover the Henley Sculptress’ terracotta and plaster models of the Tamesis and Isis keystones of Henley Bridge, enjoy boats galore – from the boat Sir Steve Redgrave won his fifth Olympic gold medal in at the Sydney Games to Helen Glover and Heather Stanning’s Unbeaten Boat – all under the same roof?
Visitors can be enchanted by the world of Kenneth Grahame, in the Museum’s The Wind in the Willows Gallery, with Mr Toad’s caravan, 3D models, theatrical lighting and music.
Gallery Trails bring the Museum to life for the Under 5s, with Tiny Toad’s Treasure Hunt and Tiny Toad’s Animal Adventure. Over 5s can enhance their gallery visits with the fascinating Time Travellers Inventions Trail, while there are two Artist Adventure Trails aimed at the over 7s, all downloadable from the Museum’s website.
The River, International Rowing and Henley Galleries’ hands-on elements, including Mr Toad’s caravan – a firm favourite – are now back in place for visitors to enjoy and the Museum will be maintaining its programme of regular cleaning.
Visitors can take their adventures outside and make the most of the Museum’s beautiful riverside setting by choosing one of two Riverside Trails. The Wind in the Willows Meadow Trail and River History Trail are downloadable from the Museum’s website and provide the perfect way to enjoy the Museum outdoors this summer.
The Chocolate Café with its impressive terrace which overlooks the weeping willows of Mill Meadows, the Museum’s Chocolate Café is the perfect place to relax and catch up with family and friends. Breakfasts are served all day, as well as light lunches, sumptuous afternoon tea and a delightful children’s menu including favourites such as smoothies, ice-cream, milkshakes and hot chocolate. Those mid bike ride or riverside walk can pick up an afternoon tea or picnic box to be enjoyed further along the river. Dogs are welcome on the terrace too!
Following the government’s lifting of restrictions from 19 July, the River & Rowing Museum confirms that the safety of staff, volunteers and visitors remains its highest priority. The Museum continues to offer advance general admission ticket booking. By maintaining a reduced capacity, the Museum ensures that visitor numbers are limited and that all visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience. Social distancing and one-way routes remain in place and all visitors will still be asked to wear a mask inside the building, unless exempt.